Review Summary: Look at my fills! LOOK AT THEM
Burning Inside is a death metal project featuring drummer Richard Christy best known for his work with the bands Death and Iced Earth. While the other members are also coalesced from other acts to create Burning Inside their pasts are much more irrelevant, as is their placement on ‘The Eve of Entities’ because this album is all about Christy.
Burning Inside plays a brand of old school technical death metal featuring slowly picked and trotted death metal riffs atop bombastic and ferocious drumming. The riffs feature a progressive edge at some points and generally get the job done but never do much more than that. The riffs show progression and move the song forward but the journey really isn’t interesting enough to lately care about the outcome. The riffs are quite safe and never dazzle or display like the drums so confidently perform, leaving the guitar work forgettable when considering the album as a whole.
What saves this album from being a tired parade of generic progressions is of course the drum work which constantly shifts, providing new fills and patterns that are very distinct. The drumming is tight, and very technical. Rather than trying to be brutal there is a focus on displaying versatility within the narrow definitions of an old school technical death metal setting. With the drumming so high in the mix, and the riffs so low- the beats just demand your attention making them the primary focus of the album which even further removes the bland guitar work from relevancy.
The vocals have a really nice delivery but the combination between vocal and drumming don’t always work, when the vocals come around the drums very apparently have to hold back and keep simple in order to make sense. Christy just comes across as greedy: not only is the production’s spotlight completely on his section of the group but he makes no effort to include the other members of the band. When the vocals come in, you can almost feel Christy thinking “alright, hurry up so I can show off this awesome fill”. The drum work adds diversity and depth to the rest of the group but also outshines them. If only the band could play nicely then perhaps they could have created something great here.